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SPOILERS: Season Two.

Dusty Footprints in Time
By Athena


Part 3

Myka sipped her wine as she watched Helena entertain her family. A young girl was sitting on Helena's lap and a little boy was on the floor by her feet gazing up at her. She was telling a story about Charles and Helena as children and the mischief that they had gotten into in this house. Myka and Helena had per HP's insistence accepted his invitation to a family dinner at the Wells estate outside London. Myka had almost felt dizzy as she was introduced to one Wells family member after the other. She was from a small family and things had been mostly quiet in her house growing up. Holidays included. To be surrounded by almost two dozen adults and numerous children and the cacophony of noise they produced was a little overwhelming for Myka. Helena on the other hand was happy as a clam. She smiled and laughed and familiarized herself with everyone, learning names and family ties as easy if she did this every day. Myka sighed softly. She was happy for Helena, she really was. And this rare event, made possible through Mrs. Frederic's clever ministrations, really was amazing. She was just as spellbound by Helena's voice as the Wells family.

"Is it really true?" the little boy, Freddie, Myka remembered, asked. "That my room used to be Charles' room?"

Helena smiled at him and ruffled his hair. "If your room is the third one on the left on the second floor, yes it is."

"I've never seen anything on the wall," he said and chewed on his lip.

Helena indicated for the girl to get up and held out her hand to him. "Let's go upstairs and have a look shall we?" She glanced over her shoulder at Myka. "Are you coming with us darling?"

Myka nodded.

They climbed the stairs together with the two children, HP and a couple of other relatives. Helena stopped at the top of the stairs and just looked around for a moment. She sighed softly and then smiled at the children. "Come on then."

Once inside Freddie's room Helena brought them over to where a small bookcase covered part of the wall. She looked at it and then down at the baseboard.

"We need to move the bookcase," she said more to herself than the rest of them.

HP and another relative pushed the bookcase out from the wall and Freddie kneeled to peek behind it.

"I can see it!" he exclaimed excitedly. "Helena and Charles December 6, 1875," he read slowly. He sat down and stared at Helena with his mouth open. "It's true," he whispered.

Helena smiled at him. "It sure is. Charles didn't want to do it, but he succumbed to the bribery of cookies," she said and winked at him. Freddie giggled.

Helena grabbed Myka's arm and made her wait as the rest of the people strolled back downstairs. Finally they were alone in the hall.

"I was nine when I talked Charles into doing that. He got in trouble, I didn't. Very unfair, but since I was a girl I didn't get punished as severely as he did."

Myka made a face. "I can imagine. Thanks for showing it to us."

Helena smiled at her. "Come, I want to show you something else."

"Helena," HP said behind them. They turned and looked at him. "May I join you?" he asked hesitantly.

Helena smiled and held out her hand to him. "Please do."

He took her hand and she hooked her arm with his. "You know HP; we are fairly close in age. Getting to know you almost feels a little like having Charles back."

He stared at her. "I'm honored," he said surprised.

She grinned at him. "I must warn you though. I played many jokes on my dear brother and tested his patience numerous times. And yet he forgave me every time," she said and batted her eyelashes at him.

HP laughed and shook his head. "You are a bad influence Helena Wells, and you are most definitely a Wells."

"I'm beginning to realize exactly what I'm about to marry into," Myka muttered.

Helena looked at HP and they laughed. "You will love us all dearly darling," she said and pulled Myka to her and kissed her temple. "We are a loveable lot. That much hasn't changed."

Helena stopped at the last room, two doors down from Charles' old room. She rested her hand on the doorknob for a moment. "This used to be my room," she whispered.

HP put a hand on her shoulder. "It's empty at the moment. It's used as a guest room. Feel free to take a look if you like."

Helena turned the doorknob and gingerly opened the door. She turned on the lights and looked around. A large four poster bed filled most of the room. There was a bookcase to the right of the window filled with leather bound books. To her surprise a cat was sleeping in the window seat in the bay window. She walked over and petted its head. The cat stretched and rolled over. She sat down and absentmindedly caressed its soft stomach as she looked around the room.

"The bed is different. Mine was much smaller," she mumbled. "I had a toy chest over there in the corner, and my writing desk was where the bookcase is, not over there," she said and pointed to the small desk to the left of the door. "The desk looks the same. I guess it probably is. I carved my name into the top right drawer with Charles' penknife when I was eight. I only cut myself a little doing it." She giggled at the memory.

"This bed has been here for as long as I can remember," HP said and grabbed one of the posts. "I even slept here a few times when grandmama was still alive." He looked at Helena and grinned. "All of us know this used to be your room. You know, as a child I often wondered if your ghost would still be here. Everyone in the family knows that you disappeared and were never found. They told ghost stories about you to us when we were little."

Helena smiled and nodded, and then turned more somber. "If anyone would be a ghost here I think it would be Christina, though she did not spend much time here since we lived in London."

HP nodded.

"Helena! Come here," Myka said excitedly. She was standing by the bookcase holding a book. She handed it to Helena who recognized it instantly.

"The Time Machine," she said and grinned. She opened the cover and gasped. It had her signature and a dedication to her brother Charles. She took a stumbling step back and sat down again. She looked up at Myka with tears in her eyes. "All of this is so wonderful and yet so painful. At times I find myself missing the past with such an intensity it makes it hard to breathe."

Myka sat down next to her and put her arm around her. "It's okay honey. I'm here. You can talk to me about anything. I know this must be overwhelming, reliving the memories and meeting real blood relatives that you should never have met, had history progressed in its natural course."

Helena nodded. She leaned her head against Myka's shoulder drawing strength from her. Finally she looked up at HP and smiled at him.

"Thank you."

"No Helena, thank you. You have given our family something we thought we had lost forever. You've returned our long lost family matriarch to us."

She laughed at that. "That is a title I never wish to have. It pleases me that the family has kept my secret and not tarnished Charles' memory. I do not need the fame. My writing days are over. Still I am glad that at least some people know the truth about me and my work."

He smiled at her. "You have a gift Helena. Please remember that, when the time is right for you to write again. You are a scientist and a writer. What I have learned about you, even before meeting you is that you have a passion within you that is so strong that you defied the society you grew up in. You challenged norms and traditions, and you succeeded. Thanks to you women's rights progressed faster than they probably would have. You have given the world so much, and I know in my heart that you have much more to give."

"Thank you darling, that's very sweet of you to say. Still if I were to write something new, I would never be able to publish it as HG Wells."

"Why not? Perhaps one of these days we will find a yet unpublished manuscript in one of your secret hiding places?" he teased and winked at her.

Helena laughed out loud and shook her head. She smirked at him. "You definitely are a Wells. I would say that you take after me more so than Charles. He was a good boy. I was the rascal who always got into trouble."

"I can see that," he said and grinned at her.

"No respect for your elders," she muttered. He just laughed.

"Helena, it's getting late. Perhaps we should get going," Myka said softly.

Helena nodded and got up. She put the book back and ran a finger down its spine.

"Helena, perhaps you and Myka would like to stay here tonight?" HP asked a little hesitantly.

Her hand stilled on the book. "I think I would enjoy that a lot. What do you say darling?"

Myka nodded silently.

Helena grinned and bit her lip. "Could we stay here, in this room?" she asked.

HP shrugged. "I don't see why not."

She laughed happily. "It will be the first time I have someone in my bed in this room. How scandalous," she said and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively at Myka.

"Helena!" Myka hissed. Helena just laughed and put her arm around Myka's waist.

Part 4

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